1 February 2023

New study shows shared decision-making can improve quality of life

Prostate cancer patients who are involved in decisions about their treatment have better outcomes, according to new research published in a prestigious Nature journal.

The study of 101 men with metastatic cancer in the United States examined quality of life in two groups: those who reported decision-making as having been “shared” with their physician or directed by the patient themselves; and those who said their treatment had been directed by their physician.

At the start of treatment, there was no difference in measured quality of life between the two groups. However, four months into their treatment, the researchers found that those who had participated in decision-making had better physical functioning than those whose treatment had been directed by a physician. This group also expressed greater satisfaction at the treatment decisions that had been made.

The authors, from Northwestern University in Chicago, say the results suggest “measurable benefit from patient involvement in decision-making”.

“Future investigations of these associations in larger, more diverse populations can further clarify these previously unmeasured benefits of patient engagement in treatment decisions,” they say.

Europa Uomo's Chairman, Guenther Carl, will be speaking at a webinar entitled "Why patient empowerment enhances urological care" on Tuesday 7th February at 1830 CET. Organised by the European Association of Urology it will provide urologists with vital information on how to boost care and clinical practice through patient empowerment.